1 [eek]
verb (used with object), eked, eking.
to increase; enlarge; lengthen.
Verb phrases
eke out,
to make (a living) or support (existence) laboriously: They managed to eke out a living by farming a small piece of land.
to supplement; add to; stretch: to eke out an income with odd jobs.

before 1000; Middle English eken, Old English ēac(i)an (intransitive), derivative of ēaca (noun) increase; Middle English echen, Old English ēcan, variant of īecan (transitive) < West Germanic *aukjan; both akin to Old Norse auka, Gothic aukan, Latin augēre, Greek auxánein to increase, amplify

Dictionary.com Unabridged


2 [eek]
adverb Archaic.

before 900; Middle English eek, Old English ēc, ēac; cognate with German auch, Old Norse, Gothic auk

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To eke
World English Dictionary
eke1 (iːk)
archaic (tr) to increase, enlarge, or lengthen
[Old English eacan; related to Old Norse auka to increase, Latin augēre to increase]

eke2 (iːk)
sentence connector
archaic also; moreover
[Old English eac; related to Old Norse, Gothic auk also, Old High German ouh, Latin autem but, aut or]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  eke1
Part of Speech:  v
Definition:  to gain or supplement with great difficulty
Etymology:  Latin augere 'to increase'
Usage:  transitive; used with out
Main Entry:  eke2
Part of Speech:  v
Definition:  to increase or make last by being economical
Etymology:  Latin augere 'to increase'
Usage:  transitive; used with out
Main Entry:  eke
Part of Speech:  adv
Definition:  also
Etymology:  Old English eac
Usage:  archaic
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

c.1200, north England and E. Midlands var. of echen from O.E. ecan, eacan, eacian "addition, reinforcement," probably from eaca "an increase," from P.Gmc. *aukan (cf. O.N. auka, O.Fris. aka, Goth. aukan), from PIE *aug- "to increase" (see augment). Now mainly in phrase to
eke out (1590s). It means "to make something go further or last longer;" you can eke out your income by taking a second job, but you can't eke out your miserable existence. Obsolete eke "also" (O.E. eac, Ger. auch) is probably related. Related: Eked; eking
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Families eke out a living by growing what food they can and by fishing.
Most work on other people's cattle ranches or eke out a meager existence in
  shantytowns and resettlement camps.
The changes were made to maximize aerodynamic efficiency and eke every last
  mile from the battery.
Fewer still reached enough papers for the creators to eke out a living.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature